Gender Critique Of Structural Adjustment Policies CSS – 6 Great Concerns

The article discusses “Gender critique of Structural Adjustment Policies. Criticism and benefits of Structural Adjustment Programs. Gender critique of Structural Adjustment Policies. Gender critique of Structural Adjustment Policies. Gender critique of Structural Adjustment Policies. Gender Studies CSS Notes. Gender critique of Structural Adjustment Policies.”

Gender Critique Of Structural Adjustment Policies

Structural Adjustment Policies (SAPs) are basically economic restructuring programs that are designed and imposed by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a state in case of taking of loan from them. Some tools that SAPs used includes currency devaluation, wage suppression, privatization of public sectors, reducing inflation, cuts in social spending, increase free trade and so on. Though SAPs have both advantages and disadvantages for the economy but feminists criticize them for its severe negative impacts on gender particularly on women.

Effects Of Structural Adjustment Programs

gender critique of structural adjustment policies

Evaluating how SAPs affect gender particularly women is challenging because their effects vary from one social group to another however some of the major concerns and critiques of feminist on Structural Adjustment Policies (SAPs) are given below.

Increase Gender Income Disparity: World Bank and IMF imposed SAPs mostly in third world countries where women labor force is primarily linked with food production crops rather than cash crops sector dominated by men. Import liberalization sometimes severely affects many sectors of the country including agriculture sector. Men earn more income through their cash crops than women that generate income disparity among men and women workers in society.

Impacts Of Global Political Economy on Women’s Life

Affect Employment Ratio: Whereas Structural Adjustment Policies have its own impacts on industrial production and trade deficit in the country it also thoroughly affect employment ratio in the state. Women lose jobs more frequently than men in case of chaotic economic conditions in the country.

Impacts on Working Environment And Wages: Similarly SAPs also affect wages and working conditions of labors in the country that have direct impacts on women labor force. For example women have to work extra hours and weekly holidays are also sometimes scraped. This led to over burden of work on women that cause different mental and physical illness in them. Also wages are decreased due to inflation and other similar economic problems.

Effects on Education and Health of Women: In most countries SAPs adversely affect public sectors such as health and education. In health sector SAPs affect the supply and demand of health services by cutting national spending on health services and reducing household income thus leaving people with less money for health. This directly affects women in lieu of men as they rely more on health services especially during pregnancy hours.

Globalization And Gender

Similarly reduction in household income also leads to girls’ loss of education.

Increase Burden on Women: In most of the third world countries women served as shock absorber of SAPs. When their male counterparts lose their jobs women have to work extra hours to make ends meet.

Malnutrition: With the implementation of SAPs demand for cash crops in the country increases which leads to the less availability of fertile land for the cultivation of food crops. This not only affect the economic position of women who are primarily linked with this sector but also causes malnutrition due to low production of food crops and its insufficient availability in the country.


From the above discussion we concluded that whereas Structural Adjustment Policies (SAPs) have both positive and negative implications for a country’s economy it severely affect gender particularly women in society.

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